Seth Rogen Didn't Expect The 40-Year-Old Virgin To Hit With The Mainstream

Steve Carell screaming "Kelly Clarkson" while his chest was being waxed – it'll never catch on, surely? Well, before the release of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," that very concern was on the mind of comedic-talent-in-the-making Seth Rogen. In an interview with IGN, Rogen revealed that he anticipated the sexually frustrated film would be on and off audiences' radars, only to be proved massively wrong when it finally hit theaters.

The premise was simple. Carell's awkward tech guy Andy Stitzer has his secret slip that he's actually a virgin, leading his work colleagues Cal (Rogen), David (Paul Rudd), and Jay (Romany Malco) to help the guy out and finally lose it. Rogen's initial theory was, "The movie will be somewhat well received, few people will flip out over it, and then two weeks later, it will be as though it never existed, and on DVD, I bet it will do well. That was like exactly our thought towards it." Of course, that wasn't the case at all, and after hauling in $177 million at the box office and being among the top 20 grossing films of 2005. Thankfully, before the film finally hit screens, Rogen had already swayed to the idea that the Carell-starring comedy could be something special after all. 

Seth Rogen saw something in The 40-Year-Old Virgin but still didn't have high hopes

As comedy star, writer, and producer Seth Rogen further recalled to IGN, the fragments of funny being pieced together with the story of Andy Stitzer were beginning to show signs of potential. "We started thinking this actually seems kind of funny, and it's working a movie form, and then the consensus was it would be surprising if it did terribly, but no one thought it would be considered a hit in any capacity whatsoever," he said.

It wasn't for lack of trying, of course. Prior to this project, Rogen had worked with the movie's writer and director Judd Apatow on "Freaks and Geeks," a TV show which went on to gain the kind of cult infamy he expected this new, rather randy film was expected to follow. "I'm so used to doing stuff with Judd that's good but goes unnoticed, and the fact that we've done something mainstream on a large scale is very weird," he said. From here, it was a new dawn (of the age of Aquarius) for Rogen, Apatow, and Carell, and a whole host more that dared to take a shot that paid off massively.